Rob Kooijmans, CEO
In today’s competitive business world, most of the food manufacturing companies are under constant pressure for several reasons. On the one hand, the raw material prices are skyrocketing, and on the other, there is an ever-increasing pressure from the retailers to keep the final product price low. Besides, internal inefficiencies within organizations are another issue hindering the growth of food manufacturing business. That’s not all, the need for privately-held businesses to have a solid financial performance to satisfy banks and other equity providers have created a ripple in the food manufacturing market. As most companies fail to address these challenges in an effective manner, they need a dynamic partner who can be their knight in shining armor to help them improve profitability, efficiency, and deliver quality food products.
This is precisely where the Food Strategy Institute marks its presence by helping organizations uncover their hidden profit potential through their knowledge and tools based on industry-wide best practices. Having a vast experience working with all the large players in the food industry, Food Strategy Institute’s top-notch team is uniquely positioned to assist food manufacturing companies across a wide range of products including fruit & vegetables, herbs & spices, meat, fish, dairy, beverages, ready-to-eat foods, infant nutrition and pharmaceuticals. “Our ultimate objective is to provide profound and deep insights, strengthened by personal leadership and committed teamwork to deliver meaningful and lasting results,” says Rob Kooijmans, CEO of Food Strategy Institute.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by Food Safety Experts currently, a large part of the food manufacturing industry (43% of the global respondents) is focusing on cost-cutting. A vital example of this is Kraft-Heinz, who went through rigorous cost-cutting in 2017 instigated by shareholders like 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway (who jointly own 50% of the shares). The result was a decline of $16 billion of its market value and considerable losses in terms of market share and brand equity.
“To achieve the long-term financial performance, alternative approaches are necessary because the continuous cost-cutting will negatively impact organizations, resulting in a breakdown of performance, whether it is quality, service, food safety, or even profit itself,” explains Kooijmans.
Food Strategy Institute addresses these challenges through their flagship solution— the Strategic Insight™ Program, an intensive program that allows organizations to strengthen their financial performance and stay competitive in the market. For a company to speed up its cost-cutting tactics, Food Strategy Institute suggests investing in its internal capabilities such as in its people, processes, and systems rather than focusing on short-term cost-cutting way-outs.
Delving further into another problem that stands as an obstacle for food manufacturing companies is compliance. In the same survey of 2018, it became clear that a combination of increasing regulatory pressure by FSMA, the Safe Food for Canadians Act, and the Official Controls Regulation in the EU impacted food manufacturing companies to a great extent. Through the Food Strategy Institute’s Strategic Insight™ Program, companies can maintain a proactive attitude to compliance needs to lower their cost of ownership. They can abide by the local and international legislation, as well as fulfill their customer’s requirements.
In addition to addressing cost-cutting and compliance challenges, Food Strategy Institute’s services extend to assessing food-related risks and food fraud prevention. To help food safety professionals with information on food fraud prevention, the company has come up with a subsidiary—FoodRecall.nl that taps into the vast network of service providers like laboratories, government contacts, specialized law firms, and subject matter experts in every type of food. This way, food manufacturing companies can have upper-hand and enough knowledge regarding the existing food scams.
What strikes as a differentiating factor for Food Strategy Institute is that they don’t implement any “standard” operating model to the food manufacturing company clients. The Food Strategy Institute stands out by building strategic insight and action from within. To create lasting results, it gets into a personal level with the leadership team of an organization and gives them insight on what could make them elevate their profits. That’s why the flagship program of the Food Strategy Institute is called the Strategic Insight™ Program.
To elaborate on the Food Strategy Institute’s value proposition, Kooijmans highlights a case scenario where his company helped one of the multi-faceted clientele in the food manufacturing industry efficiently increase profits. The client was struggling to upgrade their existing systems to advanced levels and streamline their processes throughout the organization. By implementing Food Strategy Institute’s Strategic Insight ™ Program, a three-year strategic plan was created and the client was able to invest in the right technologies and processes, which helped them realize a 5 percent increase in their profits within the first year. The leadership team also defined a clear vision, mission and values for the organization as part of the program.
The future holds endless opportunities for the Food Strategy Institute as they gear up to expand their reach into the Canadian food manufacturing market in 2020. Canada’s thriving food manufacturing industry can benefit from the services of the Food Strategy Institute. Once the plan of stepping into the Canadian market becomes successful, the Food Strategy Institute aims to further expand to the US market in the upcoming years. Apart from this, further integration of the risk management approach of FoodRecall.nl into the Strategic Insight ™ Program is in their foreseen in 2020. Kooijmans sums up, saying, “By incorporating the outcomes of the elaborate risk scan into the longer-term strategic plan, clients of the Food Strategy Institute will be even more secure in achieving their future growth objectives year on year.”